Summary: The party returns to Shallamas to give Petra the recovered skyfall and get their reward. They find Petra is held prisoner by the Syndicate in the Aeon Church and mount a rescue.
After leaving Lyra with the second repaired skyfall they return Nona to her village and then journey back to Shallamas. On the journey there Gore finishes fashioning the parts of the stargate into a teleportation cypher which will be the basis of his portal gun. Bumble has been working on communicating with the small nano-sprite swarm that began following him after the weather oracle’s shrine was freed of its infection. The swarm has begun responding to him, giving him updates of the temperature, humidity, etc and forming shapes at his command.
Since the Shallamas guard tried to arrest them when they were last in the city they hide the trogdor and the chocobos in a stand of trees and Gore and the woodsman sneak into the city by climbing over the wall. Inside the city they make their way to the Church of the Aeons where they find the entrance locked and guarded by two paladins, elite troops of the Order of Truth. Alansari is nearby and he informs them that the church is on lock down with Petra inside. Strange orders in Petra’s name have been issued sending loyal priests away on errands and doing things not in the best interest of the Order of Truth. Zorian, the priest in charge shrine of the ancients is taking control with Petra’s withdrawal. Alansari says there are Syndicate agents inside the church and he thinks Petra is a prisoner. The three rent a room at a nearby inn and they send Alansari to sneak the other three members of the party back into the city.
Meanwhile the rest of the party has run into Durzak the merchant and he sells them a cypher along with some parts that Gerard buys so that Gore can finish his portal gun. Alansari finds them and sneaks them into the city on a cart so that they can all meet up at the inn. They all rest and recover at the inn and Gore completes his prototype portal gun. In the morning they decide they will user Gerard’s neural disruptor cypher to knock out the whole population of the church so they can get in to see Petra. So as not to knock themselves out as well Gore fashions a remote activator for the cypher and they move to the outskirts of the city to a tavern where they activate the cypher and put everyone in the middle of the city to sleep with a giant wave of blue energy.
They make their way back to the church finding everyone along the way fast asleep. The paladins at the gate of the church are knocked out so the party kills one and feeds him the protoblood reviving him as a zombie to guard the gate. Inside they find syndicate agents all fast asleep and they slay them all as they make their way up to Petra’s chambers. They reach a laboratory on an upper level of the tower just below Petra’s quarters. The disruptor blast appears not to have reached up this far because there are 4 guards present who attack the party. They engage in a skirmish with the thugs while causing some mayhem by accidentally spilling chemicals and creating slick conditions, an obscuring cloud, and even a gelatinous monster. The party bests the four guards and the gelatinous creature in the battle and interrogate the final member of the syndicate guard before killing him. The last guard reveals that Petra is held captive by a high level syndicate agent known as Brizon who has a dead black eye that “sees everything” along with a couple of murden. The mudren’s “mental static” inhibits Petra’s psychic esoteries making him easy to contain. The party rest a moment and prepares for a big showdown with Brizon to rescue Petra.